Voices on the Wind
Tiny toads too many to count
by Mark Vogel
An oval red-gravel track encircles a toad drama
under a bright sun that has coaxed new leaves from trees—
and me and the dog, now out to play. Some would say
this is a once in a lifetime sight, these opportunist baby toads
three hundred strong who hop out of a pole vault pit
transformed by spring rains into a pond.
In-mass, small as raisons, they herk-jerk with a thousand
communal jumps from the dark water, with no plan,
but going anyway, toward the new lime-green grass
as I kneel above them, transfixed, a Gulliver stalled,
so I don’t murder a generation pushing on.
What other exodus mornings have I missed,
when eyes were too glazed to see, and I stayed
within the comfort of a room?
I worry about predators—birds, raccoons, snakes.
Never mind stats, how many (never named) will be
devoured as they move toward distant lands,
relentless, never thinking about what could be.
Wonder exists this fresh young morning. They
don’t need my advice, this crowd hopping
outside the flatness of time.